Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Bruce Garrioch at Slam!
Wade Redden has declared he wants to stay with the Senators, but it hasn’t stopped teams from knocking on Bryan Murray’s door.
While the Senators GM confirmed yesterday he’s had “a couple” of inquiries about the future of the veteran defenceman in Ottawa, sources say Murray has been holding intense discussions with Oilers GM Kevin Lowe.
With Round 1 of the NHL draft set for tonight at Nationwide Arena, there was talk the Senators could send Redden and winger Antoine Vermette to the Oilers for centre Shawn Horcoff and defenceman Jason Smith. It’s believed the Senators would prefer winger Joffrey Lupul over Horcoff.
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery will undergo surgery Thursday afternoon at a Cleveland clinic to repair a partial tear of the meniscus in his wrist.
Rather than risk a complete tear, the decision was made to undergo surgery now.
Emery, who suffered the injury in November, is expected to require two to three months to recover.
The Cayuga, Ontario native is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1. He made $925,000 this past year and has arbitration rights.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Redden told the Sun he doesn’t want to waive his “no trade” clause, would like to return to Ottawa next season and is willing to talk about a contract extension with GM Bryan Murray.
“Obviously, I have to speak with Bryan and find out where he’s at because he just took over,” said Redden yesterday. “But I’m sure (agent Don Meehan), myself and Bryan will be speaking over the course of the next little while.
“I know I’m an unrestricted free agent next summer, but I definitely want to be back there. I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m really excited about being (in Ottawa), especially after the year we had.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While searching for a coach will be one of Murray’s top priorities, he will also try to deal G Martin Gerber before Friday’s draft. It’s believed before Muckler was fired, he was in talks with the Coyotes and Kings about a deal involving Gerber. The belief is the Coyotes are demanding that the Senators take D Derek Morris and his $3.9-million price tag for next season.
more on the Sens, including possible surgery for Emery…
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Seeing Gary Roberts in an Ottawa Senators uniform might not be a long shot after all….
Last February, when the Florida Panthers were shopping him before the trade deadline, Roberts indicated a preference for Ottawa or Toronto, since that would put him close to his 17-year-old daughter Jordan, who attends a boarding school in Toronto.
It’s believed Roberts would still like to play in Ottawa, but Curran wouldn’t offer a commitment.
“A number of people have speculated about Ottawa and they’re entitled to their opinions,” he said.
“But we haven’t committed to anything, whether we’re able to get something done in Pittsburgh at this late date or whether we’ll wait until July 1 to see what’s available.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Murray is going to begin his search for a coach over the next few weeks and here are some likely candidates:
Senators assistant coach John Paddock, regarded by many as the top candidate, will be on Murray’s list. He worked with the club’s prospects in Binghamton and has a strong relationship with centre Jason Spezza as a result.
Former Senators captain Randy Cunneyworth, one of the AHL’s most highly touted coaching prospects, has been with the Rochester Americans and is ready for an NHL job.
Former Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn will get consideration. He has kept in touch with Murray since being fired by Toronto last year and turned down a chance to coach the Bruins last summer because he wants a more established team. Ottawa might be the perfect fit for Quinn.
Former New Jersey coach Pat Burns, who led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2003, is also ready to return to coaching after going on a hiatus because of a bout with cancer
added 7:11am, from the Ottawa Citizen,
If the call hasn’t already been placed, expect new Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray to begin his search for his own successor by dialing the 519 area code to find former NHLer Dale Hunter in London, Ont.
Whether Hunter answers Murray’s call is another matter.
Hunter, who turns 47 next month, was one of Murray’s favourites with the Washington Capitals after being acquired in 1987-1988 from the Quebec Nordiques for a draft pick that was eventually used to select Joe Sakic.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators’ cloudy front-office situation should be cleared up early this afternoon. Amid rampant speculation about major changes coming to the front office of the Stanley Cup finalists, the Senators have announced a 1 p.m. press conference at Scotiabank Place. It’s expected the team will lay out the new structure of its front office and coaching staff, and the changes are expected to be significant.
Not only is the future of GM John Muckler in doubt, sources also say president Roy Mlakar’s position is being examined by owner Eugene Melnyk.
Mlakar likely doesn’t agree with the decision to remove Muckler from the GM’s job. If he’s let go, chief operating officer Cyril Leeder is considered a top candidate for the job.
from The Maven,
This is the time of year when Lou Lamoriello completes his head-coach search. With the Entry Draft coming up, it would not surprise if Double L announces his new bench leader any day now….
I’m guessing it’ll be Brian Sutter, who has experience, savvy and toughness. I was tempted to call this coaching scenario “The Meadowlands Melodrama” until I realized that Lou just moved his offices from East Rutherford to Newark.
more hockey talk, including the Bruins, the Senators and the Predators situation…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
If, in the end, it comes down to a choice between the 73-year-old Muckler and the 64-year-old Murray, it isn’t hard to imagine why Melnyk would opt for the latter.
It doesn’t reflect negatively on Muckler’s ability to steer the Senators’ ship through the new restrictive salary-cap waters either. It just means Ottawa didn’t get the job done in the Stanley Cup and now faces a series of interesting personnel questions in the weeks and months ahead.
Melnyk may still be a relative neophyte as a hockey owner, but he surely understands this business is no different than the pharmaceutical industry on one important level: If you want to get to the top, everybody needs to be on the same page philosophically.
And if they’re not, then some hard decisions need to be made in order to remedy the situation.
According to the Toronto Sun, the Ottawa Senators have fired general manager John Muckler.
Muckler wouldn’t discuss the issue with the paper, directing all inquiries to Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.
“I haven’t been told anything,” Muckler told the Sun when asked about potential changes.
The paper notes that Melnyk’s spokesman, Ken Villazor, would not deny the report, saying “the owner has released a statement that he was reviewing all management with the club.”
continued... and nothing on the Toronto Sun’s website yet…
added 6:57am, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,
The Senators could announce that general manager John Muckler has been fired by as early as today.
While Muckler wouldn’t comment yesterday, referring all questions about his future to team owner Eugene Melnyk, two senior NHL executives told Sun Media they believe Melnyk gave Muckler his walking papers on Friday.
added 10:25am, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“No decision on John’s (future) has yet to be decided .... by any of the parties,” said Mlakar. “And, decisions on multiple fronts, WON’T (his emphasis) be decided until the end of the weekend.”
Mlakar’s e-mail went on to confirm that roles are changing: “The organization continues, and intends to continue, to work through exciting new plans and objectives for all senior management. This is not unusual.”
That means Muckler will likely get moved into another role with the club and coach Bryan Murray could be installed as the GM as early as tomorrow.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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